Reading: Ezekiel 28:11–15
As we move on through the wonderful doctrines of the word of God, having established now the base and foundation of all Scripture through first our acknowledgment of the Bible and its own nature (while not ignoring the efforts of corruption now current in all English versions but one), then moving toward the author himself, God the father, Jesus Christ (The Word Incarnate) and God the Holy Spirit.
Nine sermons given on the foundation of our faith, The Bible. Those desiring to understand more of it should give the 43,000 words I had written on the subject some consideration.
Seven on the nature and reality of God the Father
Seven Sermons on Christ, God the Son
Seven Sermons on God, the Holy Spirit.
To date having written some 140,000 words on those subjects that are the very basis of all we know and all we believe.
Today, and for the six weeks that will culminate this next set of sermons, we are going to learn of the antagonist of all history, The Devil.
No doubt there are those who have no interest in giving this person the time of the pulpit. The idea that we should spend the precious time of Church taken up by somewhat elevating such a defiled character as Satan to the point of preaching is distasteful to many, and I understand it.
It would be for the same reason that some had little interest in the recent “Getting Deeper Study” Series that we have undertaken speaking of 12 of his disciples.
Nevertheless, the Bible itself, undefiled by shortcomings of those who preach it, teaches of who the devil is:
- His Beginning
- His Fall
- His Will
- His Nature
- His Devices
- His End.
So beloved, if all Scripture is given by inspiration of God (1 Tim 3:16), and if the foundation verse of this Church states, “For whatsoever things were written afore time were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom 15:4), are we to ignore the very person who is the influence of all that is evil in the world?
Does God want us to remain ignorant of him?
As we give our consideration to the Devil and his nature, let us also give consideration to the nature of those who have not the Spirit of God in them. Let us give consideration even to the nature of our own flesh and how it too often manifests the devils character.
He Was Created
11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
The first point to note as we look at the beginning of this person is that he was indeed “Created”, we see this in verse 13;
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Though there has long been disputes respecting this passage of the Bible with claims that it is refereeing to the “physical King of Tyre”, it is clear by the words in the passage that no physical, present king living in the City of Tyre could ever be described in this way.
Has any other person even made it past the armed angels guarding the way to Eden that this man should be describe as being “in Eden the garden of God”?
What of verse 14, has ever a man been also identified and the most powerful of Angels known to us as a Cherub?
What of the manner of his creation, Perfect in Beauty, filled with light stones, without iniquity in the day he was created?
Clearly there are more problems trying to assimilate those ideas with a man than seeing the plainness of the passage teaching that this person is the spiritual personal governing over the ruler of the city of Tyre.
Turn for a moment to Daniel 10
What we have is the voice of the angel that came to Daniel when he first set himself to pray, and the angel telling him that he was held up for three weeks (v 2) fighting against another heavenly prince;
12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Go down to verse 20;
20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
Paul teaches us;
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
From the perspective of heaven, all angels are princes and thereby have to themselves a ruler, that being God; but from the perspective of the earth Paul identifies a ruling body OVER the “flesh and blood”, rulers of the world who may indeed be considered the true “kings”.
Take a look again at the passage in Ezekiel and give consideration to it in context.
When we look at the passage in the first verse of Ezekiel, we see that he is to speak unto the “prince of Tyrus” and as you read through to verse 10 it is clear that this man is the physical king of the land. He believes himself to be “God” in verse 2, proud with wisdom above others in v3, richness in abundance in v4, filled with pride in v 5, set against by other nations in v6, only to die like a man in v9.
But then we have verse 12, Ezekiel given a charge to address his lamentation to one ruling over this prince, “the king of Tyrus”, and the description we have is that which we read earlier.
Therefore, the Bible is consistent in teaching that there are spiritual wickedness in high places governing over the affairs of men, Satan himself governing the nation of Tyrus.
NOW, though it may be seen as a waste of time defending what seems plain, it is important lest doubt causes us to lose what we can learn respecting the devil in this passage.
The first thing I wanted to be sure we understood is that Satan is a CREATED being.
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Why does this matter?
It matters because Satan is a limited entity both in time and space.
He is limited in knowledge, he is limited in history, he is limited in power and authority.
All of this is vitally important because far too many Christians attribute to Satan almost divine power and authority.
He is CREATED; this means that he was created IN TIME and there was therefore a time when the devil WAS NOT.
That he is created also means he is limited IN TIME and thereby in HISTORY. He cannot know anything about the future that was not revealed to him, but he can know everything about history past, even to the day he was created.
Those who have long entertained thieving fortune tellers are fooled by the spiritual devils that can tell them all the details of their past, lulled into a false confidence respecting the future.
ONLY GOD knows the end from the beginning.
All angels, including the devil, are created immortal BUT in time. They are “Time bound” entities.
Therefore, knowing the Devil is a created being is vitally important. It tells us immediately that he has limitations. Do now ascribe to him divine power!
We have a greater authority over the angels in the name of Jesus.
Recall Jesus telling his disciples of this authority in Matt 10:8
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Paul tells us that “we shall judge angels” in 1 Cor 6:3.
Therefore, know the devil has limits. He is not ‘co-equal’ with God, the Bible tells us Jesus will destroy with the “brightness of his coming” in 2 Thess 2:8.
He is CREATED, do not be afraid of him.
He Seals The Sum
11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
“Thou realest up the sum”
An interesting phrase that gives to us the very distinct impression that this description is given of a created being that has nothing else to add to his created aspect. Indeed, he was “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty”.
This is not me saying it but the Bible!
It is a matter of interest that when the world is given a picture of Satan, they are given the imagery of his nature as his physical imagery.
The most defiled form that is possible, the greatest and most evil representation imaginable is the representation given of Satan PHYSICALLY. But it ONLY represents his NATURE.
This perhaps may fit the image we have of everything that is evil, but it is not how he is described in the Bible, the opposite in fact.
Here in verse 12 he is spoken of as the perfect sum of all God has set aside in creating him. No more could be added to him; this is what it means to be the one that ‘seals the sum’.
So many are the pictures and images of a red, two horned beast with a goatee beard, muscular physique, clawed hands, serpent like tail holding a pitchfork. Indeed this almost seems the purposeful desire of the devil to portray himself so obviously evil that no person alive would accept him.
But what if his appearance was the exact opposite of to this?
What if the devil was actually impressibly attractive in his appearance?
What if his voice spoke is soothing melody captivating our interest rather than in guttural growls that turn us away?
Imagine if he was so incredibly wise in his speech, saying things in a way that is alluring rather than off-putting? Words that we can all potentially agree with, words that are difficult to disagree with. (We will talk of his words in a future sermon).
Of such a one as this, can we be persuaded that evil is attractive?
Truly, how much evil that allures you today is unattractive?
The passage in Ezekiel goes on to describe interestingly, the covering of this person in verse 13;
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: ….
Seems this creature had “bling” built in!
This is his appearance in the beginning.
So we see that the passage describes him both as physically attractive, filled with wisdom and clothed majestically, even musically inclined (speak to that shortly).
We DO NOT SEE an individual who REPELS but one that attracts!
Turn to 2 Corinthians for a moment;
In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul speaks of his burden for the Church and how easily they are being swayed toward that which is evil. He speaks of false prophets coming to remove from them the simplicity that is in Christ and he compares such seemingly acceptable men with Satan.
Lets take a look at verse 3 to gains some context;
2 Corinthians 11:3–4
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
We see him warning of those subtile men that come in to Churches and preach another gospel, indeed, “another Jesus” and desiring even to impart “another spirit”.
Anyone who has come out of Charismatic Churches, or so called “Deliverance ministries”, or Pentecostal Churches that have their focus on signs and wonders, may indeed understand what Paul is referring to here. They certainly do preach “another Jesus” and certainly impart “another spirit” to their congregations.
These have been attracted by the preacher, attracted by the voice, by the appearanceof the man, perhaps even by the “bling”. They look good and they cover themselves with things that look good.
It is interesting that when Jesus Christ, the Saviour, is described in the Bible, the text tells us;
“he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isa 53:2)
Now, in your text in 2 Corinthians, go down to verse 13
2 Corinthians 11:13–15
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
So what we see so incredibly presented in the Bible is that Evil does not make its appearance as manifestly evil, indeed the opposite is true.
Evil has its appearance attended to in a way that attracts us to it, and so we are warned to watch with care.
Lets not forget Revelation 6:2, Evil in this passage rides in on a WHITE horse!
Light and Music
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
There are a few items we can glean from this passage that speaks of Satan before he became Satan. In him was a diverse array of stones that provided his covering and, as an angel of Light that Paul wrote of to the Corinthians, he would have illuminated wonderfully through those precious stones.
every precious stone was thy covering
Ten stones that covered the covering Cherub.
Isaiah has the sister passage to this seen in Ezekiel which we will look more into next time when considering his fall, but it is worth turning there to see the name that represents him reflecting this description in Ezekiel respecting his luminescent coverings.
Turn to Isaiah
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Again, we come to a description of a king, and I do not want to get go into the explanation justifying the words as they are. Modern Bibles have terribly corrupted the name of Satan before his fall and we will speak more to that next time.
But notice his very name, the only place you will find it in all of the Bible and we see it as Lucifer.
The name simply means “Light Bearer”. It explains well Paul’s description of the ability of Satan to transform himself into an “angel of light” in 2 Cor 11.
It seems that this is the name of Satan prior to his fall. His name changed from his derivation as “Light Bearer” to the new description of his nature as “Adversary”.
Back to Ezekiel 28
But the passage goes on to speak of a musical aspect of him as it followed on from the gold spoken of in verse 13;
the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
When Samual the prophet had spoken to Saul to anoint him as the first king of Israel, he told him what awaited him on the way home saying;
1 Samuel 10:5
5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:
Both in that passage and elsewhere we come to understand that these are musical instruments.
So not only was his beauty beyond compare in the beginning, not only was he full of wisdom in the beginning, but he was also the emanation of a multiple of coloured light and music built directly in to him.
the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
I remember years ago looking at the radio program Tripple M and its Logo. I was fascinated that they took for their Logo an image of an angel playing an electric guitar.
It was an interesting insight that perhaps said more than the Radio program than the people understood.
Music is one of the most powerful influences in the world today. It has the ability to literally change a person both in mood and personality.
Sometimes it is difficult to know which influences which; is it the person choosing the music that reflects his mood and nature or is it the other way around?
What seems evident is that they are both true and work by becoming self-propagating, or what might be referred to as “Automorphic”, one acting upon the other, acting back onto itself in an increasingly, self-perpetuating, effect.
Every film maker is aware of the effect of music to alter the mood of a person.
Today’s modern churches use music to that very end and purpose.
When they desire a certain outcome, they influence their congregations by altering the music. This places the congregations into an altered state of consciousness that makes them much prone to suggestive reasoning and LESS prone to question words and activities.
Once a person finds himself in that altered state, they are much easier to persuade to undertake activities in which the music has moved them.
In 1997 a 16 year old student in the US conducted a simple experiment of the effect of different kinds of music on white lab mice.
It was relatively well controlled with all the mice being the same gender, the same approximate weight and age and receiving the same food, the same amount of light and the same accomodation (72 large plastic containers).
He broke them up into three groups and exposed each group to diverse music for 10 hours each day and did so for three weeks.
One group enjoyed Mozart, the second group got Anthrax (Heavy Metal), both had their level of music set to 70db (Vacuum Cleaner). The third was the control group and had nothing but silence.
The student, named David Merrell, then had each group run through a certain maze and timed them as they went. He had them go through the same maze multiple times and recorded the outcome.
The Mozart Mice amazingly got through the maze at one third the time of the silent mice, the record was 1.5 minutes.
The mice that were subject to ‘Anthrax Therapy’ however, took 30 minutes to eventually get through the maze. That was three times longer than the silent mice and almost 20 times longer than the Mozart mice.
David observed the Anthrax Mice running into themselves, bumping into walls and not even lifting up their noses to sniff the scent of those that went before them. Indicating that even their senses were dulled.
This was not the first time David did this sort of experiment. The first one failed because he kept the mice together in cages of their respective groups. Sadly the Anthrax Therapy mice bit and fought each other until there was only one left alive.
That is a short account of the effect of music, and it interests me that the Devil had this built in. Good music has a good effect, bad music has a bad effect.
Good instruments in the hands of a good person can produce good music, good instruments in the hands of the devil can kill!
Yet, he is referred to before his fall as “The anointed Cherub”.
Cherubs are not cute little winged babies with bows, awaiting boys and girls only to shoot them with the arrow of love!
Cherubs are the most powerful angels in the Bible and there are only two that we know of by name.
One is Lucifer, as here. The other is Micheal.
Lucifer, the angel of light and evidently music, is the Cherub that Covereth”, in other words, he is the Angel that is tasked to guard the thrown of God.
Til Iniquity Was Found
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
The verse naturally concludes on this last point and sounds a saddening close to an otherwise faultless description of the Devil before his fall.
All that we heard before this, every description given gave a resounding endorsement to one that was purposefully created to be the primary leader of them all.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
But God never made an automaton, he never made a robot; all things being made “very good” certainly indicates that to make all things living with a self will is a ‘good thing’.
Lucifer had the free will to love and to honour God…till iniquity was found in thee.
All creatures are created with the potential to commit evil, but not all act on that potential, the Lucifer did.
We will speak more to the Fall of Lucifer in the next sermon. For now I want to give consideration to what the Beginning of the creation of this being means to us.
Knowing he is a created being immediately gives to us a level of comfort. The false representation that, as the adversary of God, he is like him in power now quickly goes away. Satan is limited as all creatures are.
He was created to obey God and his disobedience is seen as the first of them all, through which a third of the angels had fallen with him. (Again, speak more to this next time).
He is a part of all that God saw in Genesis 1 as “very good”, Until iniquity was found in thee
SEALS THE SUM
Next was that he seals the sum, he was created as a perfect being. No blemish was seen in him…until iniquity was found…
LIGHT AND MUSIC
A characteristic of his creation that seems not to have changed. He seems to retain the aspect of light and the attribute of music in him.
His form is NOT one that makes him appear anything less than the way he was created.
No RED PYJAMAS.
No PITCH FORK
But, “Perfect in beauty”.
We therefore will expect antichrist to resemble this attractive and very charismatic individual with the ability to give perfect orations and speeches that will deceive the whole world. WHY?
Because they are looking for the one in Red Pyjamas, horns, fangs and pitchfork!!
Our study is NOT only on that of a defiled persona in the Bible, but a study on the nature of Evil itself and gives to us the alert we need.
It was an ancient book titled The Art of War by Sun Tzu from which was quoted to “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”. It tells wisely that we need to have the knowledge of the characteristic of the enemy to be able to identify him.
The Devil is NOT unattractive, nor are the devices he uses to deceive the world.
Both he and his devices are appealing.
It is Satan who rides in on a white horse in Revelation 6.
He is a counterfeit.
He will deceive the entire world and the signs and wonders that will come in that day are so powerful that they would, if possible, deceive even the very elect said Jesus in Mathew 24:24.
HOW THEREFORE, CAN WE BE SURE WE ARE NOT DECEIVED?
Get to know Jesus!
Read your bibles beloved. The word of God is not known as a Sword for no reason. The greatest weapon against the Father of Lies is the TRUTH.
The ONLY way you can identify a counterfeit is to perfectly recognise the genuine article.
Bank tellers of old where not given a pile of counterfeit notes to study and identify when they came in, because every NEW counterfeit differed slightly from the other, no, they were given the genuine notes to study to ensure they recognised the counterfeit when it appeared.
There will be those who will enter your lives that may be ministers of light but are of the devil. People who enter the lives, especially of the young and those easily persuaded who do not read their bibles, to deceive and to turn away from the truth.
An attractive man does not mean he is a good man.
A beautiful woman does not mean she is not evil.
Great orators and speakers hide the truth in the subtlety of words. It is what they are NOT saying that is as important as what they ARE saying.
If the devil himself was created as a perfect being and retains to this day the external qualities of his creation, how will you discern evil when it appears?
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Lucifer is written of and identified in the Bible that we may learn about him. That, in these days of great deception, we may identify evil when it comes. But all this will be to no avail if you are not regularly reading your bibles and spending time with the Lord in prayer.
But especially if you are not born again.
Do you yet belong to God? Are you saved? Does the Spirit of Truth abide in you?
Or does the devil still have you in his will?
ADMIT yourself a sinner
BELIEVE Jesus died for your sins
CALL on the Lord to save you.